A new opportunity to expand early learning in local schools is here. In June 2013, Governor Brown approved a state budget that included a new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) for all schools in California. The LCFF represents one of the state’s most comprehensive reforms that shifts California to a simpler “needs-based” education funding formula that prioritizes the needs of students at the local level. In 2014, school districts will begin developing a three-year Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that will determine local funding priorities. Along with the spending flexibility provided by the new formula, school districts are required to seek input from parents and community stakeholders as they begin to shape their own, local educational priorities. Because LCFF allows for the inclusion of investing in early education programs, First 5 LA believes that Los Angeles County has an opportunity to address the specific needs of our youngest children by emphasizing early education within the LCFF.
Research shows that early education programs help ensure LA County’s diverse child population will be ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. When all the evidence is considered, high-quality early education services produce meaningful long-term gains for children, particularly those child populations highlighted in the new formula funding legislation.
LCFF Webinar Series – Children Now offers a webseries that provides an overview on LCFF, details on the State Board of Education process, regional hearings and upcoming opportunities for LCFF public input.
Early Edge: LCFF & Early Learning Fact Sheet - This fact sheet by our partners at Early Edge encourages school district leaders and community stakeholders to consider investing in early education programs as we make the transition toward the LCFF. Studies show that early learning programs have improved outcomes for students on at least two of the eight state priorities that must be addressed in the local plans under the new formula.
RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS Parents and stakeholders will play a critical role in how school districts decide to invest resources under the new LCFF. School districts must strongly consider community input when developing a local control and accountability plan. Furthermore, one specific procedure requires school districts to present their proposed spending plans to parent advisory committees for review and comment. This section will provide you with details on how the LCFF works and school district contact information.
LCFF Fact Sheet –A fact sheet on LCFF with basic information on how the new formula works, the important role that community engagement will play within the LCFF process.
School District Directory – This directory from the California Department of Education provides a search tool to help locate the contact information for your local school district.
Parents Matter NOW - Is a statewide campaign launched by Families In Schools (FIS) to strengthen parent engagement practices across the state. With the implementation of LCFF, FIS, in collaboration with dozens of organizations from across the state, have developed a set of parent engagement indicators that can be used by the state and school districts to better track parent engagement activities.
Fair Share 4 Kids – A statewide campaign in support of equitable school funding in California under LCFF. This link provides information on projected school district funding under the new funding formula.
Resources For School District Leaders - As school district leaders, there will be plenty to do as you prepare for implementation of the upcoming LCFF spending priorities within your district. As you begin to set district goals for student improvement and create avenues for parental and community input, having all the up-to-date information on LCFF is essential. This section provides funding estimates for school districts under LCFF as well as well as a documentary on the economic benefits of investing in early learning programs.
LAO Overview on LCFF – A report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) describing the major components of the new formula, including the state’s new system of district support and intervention.
CSBA Governance Brief - This piece from the California School Boards Association. provides additional background information on the rollout of the formula over the next eight years.
Raising of America Documentary – The Raising of America documentary miniseries also provides a number of multi-media tools linking early child development to a more prosperous nation. The first episode, "Are We Crazy About Our Kids," explores the economics of investing in high-quality early care and preschool.
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